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Mexican gov't asks U.S. court to throw out SB 1070

Mexico's government says Az law interferes with diplomacy, provides for racial profiling, 'poisons well'

The Mexican government jumped into the fight against Arizona's SB 1070 on Monday, telling a federal court that the immigration law "threatens to poison the well" of U.S.-Mexican diplomacy and will lead to racial profiling of Mexican citizens.

A 28-page amicus curiae brief filed in U.S. District Court says that Mexico has a "substantial and compelling interest" in seeing its diplomatic relations with the U.S. not be "frustrated by the actions of individual U.S. states" and in "ensuring that its citizens are accorded human and civil rights" while they are in the U.S.

The "friend of the court" brief asks the court to declare SB 1070 "unconstitutional in its entirety." The filing is the Mexican government's first official foray into the debate over the law, although President Felipe Calderon called SB 1070 a "terrible idea" while addressing a joint session of Congress.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said last week that the federal government will file suit against Arizona over the law.

The brief says SB 1070 raises issues "of great importance to the people of Mexico, including the almost twenty million Mexican workers, tourists and students lawfully admitted to the United States throughout 2009, those already present or who will similarly be admitted to the U.S in the future, and the countless millions affected by international trade, immigration policies and drug violence."

Mexico says SB 1070 will impact the $7.35 million its citizens spend every day in Arizona.

"If S.B. 1070 takes effect, Mexican citizens will be afraid to visit Arizona for work or pleasure out of concern that they will be subject to unlawful police scrutiny and detention," says the brief.

Mexico's brief says that Arizona's anti-illegal immigration law will disrupt a U.S. move toward comprehensive immigration reform. It quotes Mexico's ambassador to the U.S., who said SB 1070 "threatens to poison the well from which our two nations have found and should continue to find inspiration for a joint future of prosperity, security, tolerance and justice."

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Mexico also says that the law will impeded efforts to combat drug trafficking, by "straining and encumbering bilateral collaboration."

SB 1070 earns a comparison to "actions taken toward African-Americans during and prior to the Civil Rights movement." The brief says this serves to "underscore the potential harm and lasting negative effects of SB 1070."

The Mexican government raises concerns of racial profiling, saying "SB 1070 gives local officers carte blanche authority to stereotype and to rely on the popular perception that appearances of "foreign-ness" are justifiable means for
disparate treatment."

The brief goes on: "Giving state police the authority to simply create a description of what an illegal immigrant looks like is plainly racial profiling, which is why Mexico is concerned. This inevitably will lead to casting an overbroad net in the pursuit of "illegal immigrants," with individuals being stopped based on appearance."

The brief says that "racial profiling by law enforcement may encourage private organizations or citizens to target Mexican citizens."

"When aligned with other drastic measures, such as the recently enacted bill intended to ban the multicultural studies program in the Tucson Unified School District, it becomes unavoidable to see that Arizona's legislative efforts constitute a discriminatory policy. SB 1070's discriminatory objective runs against the fundamental rights of people living in the United States," says the Mexican government's filing.

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Latest comments on this storyRead all 12 »

Jul 1, 2010, 1:52 pm
-0 +1

I don’t believe that many U.S. citizens harbor hatred towards Migrants, or even Mexicans. But to simply allow people to come through the borders of the U.S. undocumented, undermines the sovereignty of this nation, disrespects our laws and put an undo burden on it’s citizens.
If we say it is acceptable for those living in Mexico or other South American countries to come into the U.S. without documentation, without investigations into their background, without health screenings and without going through the proper channels, why is it acceptable to not allow millions of starving, African citizens to come here for a better life? Why not allow the other millions of people who live farther away than our southern countries to come here for a shot at the “American Dream” if they can just get here.
Why not let the Extremist come into the country, or the Terrorist? Why not let in the child molester or the rapist, or even the murderer?
Why? Because it would destroy the United States. Just like what is currently happening.
We already have these types of problems in the U.S. and your open border policy would allow more to come in, undocumented, unregulated and uncontrollable.
On top of that, you the tax payer, would be paying for them, be it in social services, court/lawyer costs, detainment/conviction costs, healthcare costs, and a myriad assortment of other costs associated with undocumented “illegal” immigrants.

Jun 27, 2010, 9:21 am
-1 +0

I am Pro- Migrant and believe in open borders. Mexicans have been coming to the States for years. They have made a valuable input to our society. Many of them over the years have been able to become legal and their families consider them as North Americans. The hate that goes on in this country is a disgrace.

Jun 24, 2010, 7:36 am
-0 +0

A related tax credit—the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC)—pays this person another $1126 if his or her income was less than $16000.  For most families in this income bracket, the EITC check is the largest single sum of money.  So Illegal alien husbands and wives often file separate returns on which both claim the same kids.” More Evidence of EITC Fraud. Illegal immigrants defrauded the tax credit program. More than one in four immigrant households received the EITC in 2000—nearly twice the 13.2 percent rate of households headed by Native Americans. And because immigrant households are larger via higher fertility, their EITC payments are larger than those received by native households according to Ed Rubenstein, the author of “The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is the largest anti-poverty program in the United States – and the most illegal-immigrant friendly.”

The most distressing aspect of EITC stems from unlawful immigrants tapping into the program on a massive scale.  For example, in Greeley, Colorado this year, district attorney Buck Young raided a tax filing agency to find over 1,000 fraudulent returns by unlawful workers. While they paid little or nothing in taxes, they received hundreds of thousands in bogus returns. In 2007, more than 23 million households received more than $47 billion in the EITC payments.”

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World Economic Forum/Flickr

Mexican President Felipe Calderon in 2009.

Mexico's amicus curiae brief

Read a pdf of the brief the government of Mexico filed in U.S. District Court

On the Web

Heat City: Mexican government joins fight to stop Arizona's immigration law